Private payrolls rise in October; wages surge in third quarter

Private payrolls rise in October; wages surge in third quarter

Private payrolls rise in October; wages surge in third quarter

In the private sector, compensation climbed almost 3 percent over the a year ago, wages and salaries jumped 3.1 percent and benefits 2.5 percent, the department reported. From September of 2016 to September of 2017, wages and salaries rose 2.5 percent, the Labor Department said.

The employment-cost index, a measure of wages and benefits for civilian workers, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in July through September, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Some have argued that companies were holding off on increasing wages because they were having to put more money toward benefits, but the Employment Cost Index also tracks benefits costs, and those have not risen as much as wages. Many economists view wage growth as a precursor to broader inflation pressures, but recent data shows broader inflation is cooling.

Following a robust third fiscal quarter, wages and salaries in the US are up by 0.9 percent this month so far - 3.1 percent this year - which is the highest level in a decade. That was the strongest year-over-year gain since the second quarter of 2008.

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Americans boosted their spending by the most in almost four years in the July-September quarter.

A separate report Wednesday showed businesses added 227,000 jobs in October, a sign that businesses can still find workers even with the unemployment rate striking 49-year lows.

Strong annual wage growth would mirror other data published this week showing wages and salaries rising in the third quarter by the most since mid-2008.

But the acceleration in employment growth was likely tempered by Hurricane Michael, which struck Florida in mid-October. "Testimonial to the robust employment picture is the broad-based gains in jobs across industries".

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The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in September, the end of the third quarter.

Economists and investors expect the Fed to continue gradually raising interest rates, including a December increase that would be the year's fourth.

The government's quarterly ECI reading - which covers employer- paid taxes such as Social Security and Medicare in addition to the cost of wages and benefits - offers a glimpse at how American workers are being compensated. That compared with the median estimate of economists for a 0.7 percent increase. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

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